, Newburyport, MA

April 30, 2013

Georgetown COA thanks volunteers

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

This year’s volunteer recognition theme of Volunteers Making a Difference in the Lives of Others fits well with the national recognition of the impact and power of volunteerism in civic life and the role that elder volunteers play in strengthening the social connections within our communities. Incorporating the skills and knowledge offered by elders, volunteerism increases the involvement of elders in community life and helps to build healthier and stronger communities. The vital role that elder volunteers play and the difference they make in the lives of others is evident to the Georgetown Council on Aging (COA). Supporting and enriching the lives of many of the elders that we serve within our community, they are truly the backbone of the programs and activities offered by the Georgetown COA.

Last year, volunteers with the Georgetown COA read with elementary school children, assisted in the office or at meals and parties, answered critical health insurance questions, completed income tax returns, folded 10,222 newsletters, sewed 217 dolls for children living with need, called 50 bingo games and drove 2,387 miles in order to provide elders with vital transportation to medical appointments. Representing a value of $62,550 (based on a rate of $20.85 per hour), 147 volunteers gave more than 3,000 hours of time to directly support the Georgetown COA, enhancing the lives of elders as well as all who live within our community.

The recent Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast gave the Georgetown COA an opportunity to thank many of our volunteers, but we wish to offer our thanks to all of the volunteers who support our work within the community. We also thank Ashland Farm at North Andover and Nunan’s Plants and Greenhouses of Georgetown for their sponsorship of the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. We extend a very special thanks to the band Blue Streak for their musical performance. Blue Streak features Chief Kenneth Walsh of Campus Safety at Endicott College, Chief Peter Silva of the Essex Police Department, Chief William Mulligan of the Tyngsboro Police Department, Sgt. Dwight MacDonald of the Groveland Police Department, Sgt. Michael Marion of the Rockport Police Department and officer Michael Higgins of Campus Safety at Endicott College. We also thank police Chief James Mulligan of the Georgetown Police Department for facilitating Blue Streak’s special appearance.

By sharing their time and abilities, volunteers provide the Georgetown COA with priceless support. We could not do the work that we do without their care and assistance. They show us how kindness matters and the very real ways that we can make a difference in the lives of others. We thank them with deep appreciation and gratitude.

Colleen Ranshaw-Fiorello, Director

Georgetown Council on Aging